Published Sunday, November 23rd, 2014   ( 7 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 11
November 23 2014

By Hank Wesch
 

 
 
CALIFORNIA CHROME BREEZES HALF-MILE IN 52 FLAT ON TURF
 
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome made his first appearance of the year at Del Mar on Sunday morning, breezing a half-mile on the turf in 52 seconds under regular jockey Victor Espinoza with trainer Art Sherman looking on from the second level of the grandstand.
 
California Chrome is nominated to both the $300,000 Hollywood Derby on grass and the $200,000 Native Diver on Polytrack on Saturday, November 29 at Del Mar. Sunday’s workout, the first for California Chrome on turf, was to determine his affinity for the surface and help in the stakes decision.
 
“I was satisfied with the work,” Sherman said at a news conference an hour later. “Victor said (California Chrome) didn’t know if he was going to work or gallop because he’d never been on the grass before. But Victor said he felt smooth underneath him and that was my main concern.”
 
If California Chrome runs next Saturday, he will be the seventh Kentucky Derby winner to race at Del Mar after winning the Run For The Roses in the 75-year history of the track.
 
Sherman said a final decision regarding which race would likely come on Wednesday when entries are taken, but stuck to previously expressed priorities.
 
“I’d love to run him on the grass,” Sherman said.
 
With an estimated crowd of 500 watching, California Chrome was given the opportunity for a solo run over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. He entered the course from a gate just past the finish line, his chestnut colt glistening in the early morning sun.
The colt jogged easily around the clubhouse turn to the backstretch, then broke off from the accompanying pony and started the half-mile work. The turf course “dogs” (marker cones) were well out from the inner rail to protect the surface and the work was conducted more than halfway toward the outer rail.
 
Track clockers had splits of :13.80 and :26.60 for the first two furlongs and :52.00 for the half-mile, meaning a final quarter in :25.40 seconds. Espinoza had California Chrome well in hand the entire way and clockers labeled it “breezing,” an assessment not routinely accorded on the Southern California circuit.
 

 
TWO SCRATCHES FROM CARY GRANT; SIX TO GO
 
Trainer Leonard Powell scratched Los Alamitos Mile winner Soi Phet from Sunday’s featured  $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes, and trainer Peter Miller later withdrew Got Even, leaving a field of six for the seven-furlong sprint on Polytrack for California-breds.
 
Soi Phet, a 6-year-old son of Tizbud whom Powell claimed and turned into a stakes winner, was the 4-1 third choice on Russ Hudak’s morning line behind undefeated Red Outlaw (2-1) and Bing Crosby Stakes winner Big Macher (5-2).
 
The field, from the rail out, with original morning line is: Celebrity Status (Tyler Baze, 15-1), Patriots Rule (Fernando Perez, 12-1), Red Outlaw (Edwin Maldonado, 2-1) Big Macher (Rafael Bejarano, 5-2), Magic Mark (Joe Talamo, 8-1) and Rousing Sermon (Elvis Trujillo, 6-1).
 

 
 
WHAT’S IN A NAME  -  CARY GRANT STAKES
 
The On Trust Stakes when it was a feature at Hollywood Park, the race now honors the memory of one of Hollywood’s brightest stars and most popular leading men, Cary Grant, recipient of an honorary Academy Award in 1970. Grant starred in numerous classic films during a lengthy career.
 

                       
TEN ENTERED FOR HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP
 
Holiday Star and Alakazan Alakazan, shippers from Kentucky for trainer H. Graham Motion, top a field of 10 entered for Thursday’s Hollywood Turf Cup. The first 1 ½-mile grass race in track history will go as the seventh on an eight-race Thanksgiving Day program which has an early first post of 11 a.m.
 
Holiday Star, a 4-year-old gelded son of Harlan’s Holiday, won the Grade III Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland on October 16 in his last start. Alakazan Alakazan, a 4-year-old Brazilian-bred colt, has been unraced since winning an allowance at Kentucky Downs in September.
 
The field for the Hollywood Turf Cup, from the rail out, is:  Stoney Fleece (Tiago Pereira), Holiday Star (Mike Smith), Finnegans Wake (Victor Espinoza), Mystery Train (Joe Talamo), Patrioticandproud (Corey Nakatani), Irish Surf (Dan Hendricks), Alakazan Alakazan (Rafael Bejarano), Bench Light (Kent Desormeaux), Little Jerry (Martin Pedroza) and Power Foot (Tyler Baze).
 

 
SABADO GIGANTE FOR HALL OF FAMERS
 
Saturday was a big day for three of Del Mar’s quartet of resident Hall of Fame riders.
 
Gary Stevens notched his first victory since undergoing knee replacement surgery when he got Grand Yodeler home for trainer Mike Puype in the first race.
 
Alex Solis got career victory No. 4,997 aboard Sayes So for trainer Richard Mandella in the final race of the day here.
 
And in Vinton, La., Mike Smith won the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Ocho Ocho Ocho two races after taking the $200,000 Treasure Chest stakes aboard Yahilwa. Both horses are trained by Jim Cassidy.
 
“Feels pretty good,” Stevens said after the race. “I wasn’t supposed to be riding yet, but I really wanted to get back.”
 
Stevens, 51, had the surgery on July 25. He made his riding comeback on Oct. 31 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, finishing fifth on Sivoliere. He was 0-for-8 in mounts at Santa Anita and Del Mar before Saturday’s breakthrough.
 
Solis got within three of the 5,000 career win mark with a wire-to-wire guiding of Sayes So. He has one scheduled mount Sunday, Love Blind for trainer Art Sherman in the second race. Love Blind provided Solis with win No. 4,996 in the first race here on the November 8 card.
 
Asked if Smith had ridden perfectly to his instructions Saturday in Louisiana, trainer Cassidy laughed and then said: “He certainly did. What can you say about him? He’s one of a kind.”
 
Smith had ridden Yahilwa twice at Del Mar last summer. Ocho Ocho Ocho had been ridden by Joe Talamo in two wins at Santa Anita, but Cassidy called on Smith when Talamo opted for another Jackpot entrant that was on the also-eligible list but didn’t make the race.
 
Smith is scheduled aboard two mounts here Sunday. 
 

 
CASSIDY RELISHES LUCRATIVE LOUISIANA VENTURE
 
With what does a Southern California-based trainer do to celebrate two big victories in Louisiana? Cajun food or something stronger?
 
“A combination of both,” Jim Cassidy said. “The Scotch was flowing.”
 
Cassidy has had major victories to celebrate in the past with horses like The Usual Q.T., Evening Jewel and most recently Tom’s Tribute. But they’ve mostly come in California. Saturday’s double in the $1 million Delta Jackpot and $200,000 Treasure Chest at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., was his best single-day venture outside the Golden State.
 
“Money-wise for sure,” Cassidy said.
 
In terms of satisfaction? “It was very suspenseful and took a lot out of you emotionally, but probably that way too.”
 
Cassidy spoke Sunday morning by phone from Houston, where he was to catch a plane home. He plans to be at Del Mar for the final four days of the meeting, starting Thursday. He has two horses entered on the Thursday card,
 

 
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BING
 
For the inaugural Bing Crosby Season at Del Mar, we offer a daily note, quote or anecdote about the track’s founding father for whom the fall meeting is named.
 
Cary Grant, for whom today’s  stakes is named, when asked about playing Bing Crosby: “I can't portray Bing Crosby, I'm Cary Grant. I'm myself in that role. The most difficult thing is to be yourself - especially when you know it's going to be seen immediately by 300 million people.” – IMDb
 

 
DEL MAR TO HOLD LARRY HIMMEL TRIBUTE THANKSGIVING FRIDAY
 
Del Mar will pay tribute to KFMB-TV feature reporter Larry Himmel Friday with a race named in his honor along with additional plans to salute the multi-talented broadcast journalist and longtime racing fan.
 
Himmel succumbed to cancer on November 5 at the age of 68. The native of Chicago had been a San Diegan for more than 40 years, most of that time spent on air at the local CBS-affiliate where his free-spirited attitude and humorous look at the city and its people made him hugely popular and one of the most recognizable faces in town.
 
The multiple Emmy award-winning TV veteran did thousands of feature pieces over the years and one of his favorite beats was Del Mar. He was sure to do a feature or two each summer at the shore oval, then spend many of his off days at the track chasing those elusive winners. Himmel and his family also loved to journey east to Saratoga in the summer for the opportunity to just be racing fans at The Spa, and he had made plans to return to a track he fell in love with at first sight when he visited Keeneland a few years back.
 
“Del Mar, racing and all of San Diego lost a true friend when Larry died,” said Del Mar president and CEO Joe Harper. “He was a pro’s pro with a wonderful attitude who was a pleasure just to be around. We miss him dearly.”
 
The track will show several of Himmel’s racing features during the afternoon on its infield big board, then hold a special presentation in the winner’s circle following the running of the race named in his honor. His widow, Joan, and his son, Miles, are expected to join members of his KFMB family at the track for the afternoon.
 

 
CLOSERS – Selected works from 40 timed Sunday morning: Polytrack -- Conquest Typhoon (4f, :48.00), Xoxo (4f, :48.80), Comanche Ruler (5f, 1:00.60), Magic Lily (5f, 1:00.60), Purple Rose (6f, 1:13.20), Rainbow North (6f, 1:14.80); Turf – California Chrome (4f, :52.00), Kaigan (4f, :46.80), St. Joe Bay (4f, :50.40), Daddy D T (5f, 1:00.40), Lil Bit O’Fun (5f, 1:01.20), Queen of The Sand (5f, 1:02.60), Suggestive Boy (5f, 1:01.00), Flamboyant (6f, 1:17.40), Power Foot (6f, 1:15.00).
 

 
DEL MAR STATISTICS
 
Jockey Standings
(Current Through Saturday, November 22, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Kent Desormeaux

46

7

9

7

15%

$294,130

Tyler Baze

47

7

4

5

15%

$236,980

Victor Espinoza

32

7

4

2

22%

$291,198

Drayden Van Dyke

50

6

15

8

12%

$348,676

Elvis Trujillo

49

6

10

5

12%

$292,804

Martin Pedroza

33

5

5

3

15%

$207,394

Edwin Maldonado

32

5

4

3

16%

$158,498

Fernando Perez

32

5

1

5

16%

$174,570

Joseph Talamo

26

5

0

2

19%

$230,420

Tiago Pereira

35

4

5

5

11%

$143,150

 
 
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Saturday, November 22, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Peter Miller

33

8

8

4

24%

$285,358

Mike Puype

26

8

2

2

31%

$318,270

John W. Sadler

23

5

2

3

22%

$194,250

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

23

4

8

1

17%

$145,480

Peter Eurton

13

4

0

2

31%

$162,460

Leandro Mora

35

3

4

6

9%

$152,654

Bob Baffert

10

3

4

1

30%

$175,920

Vladimir Cerin

9

3

1

0

33%

$70,010

Jerry Hollendorfer

20

2

3

4

10%

$168,568

A. C. Avila

10

2

2

2

20%

$53,970

 
 
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Saturday, November 22, 2014 Inclusive)
Winning favorites -- 26 out of 86 -- 30.23%
Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 17 out of 56 -- 30.36%
Winning favorites on turf -- 9 out of 30 -- 30.00%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 1 out of 9 -- 11.11%
In-the-Money favorites -- 55 out of 86 -- 63.95%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 5 out of 9 -- 55.56%
 

 
Sunday, November 23, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793